Charles Walker – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Charles Walker on 2016-04-26.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has undertaken of the incidence of repression of Christians by the Nigerian government; and if he will make a statement.

James Duddridge

In Nigeria, the right to freedom of religion is protected by the Constitution. Boko Haram seeks to undermine this right by attacking Nigerians of all faiths who do not subscribe to its extremist views. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not hold information on the number of churches that have been destroyed in Nigeria, but it is clear that Boko Haram has caused immense suffering in both Christian and Muslim communities. We assess that the majority of their victims are Muslim.

We are providing a substantial package of intelligence, military, development and humanitarian support to Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram, including training and advice on counter insurgency and £5 million of support to a regional military taskforce.

Nigeria also faces the challenge of inter-communal conflicts between farmers and herdsmen over land, farming rights, grazing routes and access to water. Through our development assistance, the UK supports initiatives to reduce these conflicts and build bridges between communities.

We will continue to work with the Nigerian Government, non-governmental organisations and civil society to improve the security situation and human rights for all in Nigeria.